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Mac G4 Dual 800 Quicksilver fan noise
Old 23rd January 2003
Lives for gear
infiniteposse's Avatar

Mac G4 Dual 800 Quicksilver fan noise

Hola all-

So now that my innate GearSlut-osity has led me towards better mics and pres, I have the pleasure of hearing how loud my Dual 800 G4 really is The fans just whine away all night long (think oscillating high frequencies and a high mid growl) and can be heard from my living room, let alone through my TLM103 in the same room. The Mac's in a closet, but it's not a completely closed off space (which is probably good since I don't want to overheat the thing), but it's still just too darn noisy for my liking. I'm really craving a low noise floor and it's just not happening like this.

I've found some mods such as:

...and this looks like it might be a way to deal with this, although a little brutal for my taste, but whatever gets the job done I guess.

Anyone used these mods before? Anyone found another solution? And please don't say stick the mac in another room, cause it's not an option...

Any thoughts greatly appreciated.

Old 23rd January 2003
Gear Addict

Is this a mirror door G4? There is a firmware update on the Apple site to help with the fan noise.
Old 23rd January 2003
There is only one
alphajerk's Avatar

isorack... you think your G4 is loud... ask michael about his R1 and the noise that thing generates... i thought a plane was powering up as he opened his isorack door... closed it, complete silence.
Old 23rd January 2003
Lives for gear
infiniteposse's Avatar


just got pointed to this by some other peeps...

like the isorack but a little more info to work with. pricey but, may be on.

Old 23rd January 2003
There is only one
alphajerk's Avatar

i dont know how good you are working with wood, but i plan on building my own "isorack" and bring the cost WAY down... of course if i couldnt work with wood and didnt have the tools, i would certainly shell out the money for one instead of mucking with the computer where you will ALWAYS hear the HD whine and other odds and ends. ****, i have 2x 10k scsi drives in mine plus 2x DMA drives. talk about whine. i hav a dualGHZ but considering what is in it, its not all that loud as one would expect. certainly not as loud as yours seems to be. mine isnt even in a closet right now. maybe im just growing deaf
Old 23rd January 2003
One with big hooves
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Well, one of the things that makes the Isorack worth it IMHO is the cooling. What good is stuffing the computer into an isolated rack but having it overheat? I used to work for a company that shared space with Raxxess and I remember them building many prototypes of their iso rack and the hell they went through to make it work.

Speaking of fan noise the fans on my JH are pretty noisy but I've gotten used to them. The fan on the Wackie HDR was way louder but maybe it was just because it was closer to me.
Old 23rd January 2003
Lives for gear

I've one of these new Dual 1GHz machines that are able to drive you crazy with their noise. Luckily it is now in a silent rack developed for the German broadcast by the IRT. It has active cooling with a silencer and is very effective (over 40dB noise reduction). Here is a small photo of it in my studio, on the left bottom beside the 9600 is the G4.
Old 24th January 2003
There is only one
alphajerk's Avatar

Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
Well, one of the things that makes the Isorack worth it IMHO is the cooling.
folded baffle design. pretty ****ing easy to implement.
Old 24th January 2003
Lives for gear
3rdpath's Avatar
the latest EM mag has a blurb on a new iso rack by a company called elias audio. looks cool and seems much more reasonably priced.
( $ 429.00-$549.00)
Old 24th January 2003
Lives for gear
infiniteposse's Avatar

nice one...

Thanks for that last link. These guys are in Oakland, so I may have to check them out. The price is a little better and I love nice wood finishes
Old 26th January 2003
Lives for gear

Originally posted by 3rdpath
the latest EM mag has a blurb on a new iso rack by a company called elias audio. looks cool and seems much more reasonably priced.
( $ 429.00-$549.00)
I've talked to this guy. He's a nice guy, btw.

His solution is somewhere between the higher-end stuff (Cry wolf) and doing it yourself regarding attenuation. His stuff also looks decent and does not add a huge, heavy coffin to your work environment.

Seems like a good deal.

Old 8th February 2003
Lives for gear
drew's Avatar
So has anybody bought/took delivery of one of these? What's the verdict?
Old 14th February 2003
Gear Nut
drummerman15's Avatar

I was just working on a homemade iso box this weekend and got some pretty good results. I have a G4 dual 1G and it screams. My ears get fatigued so much faster with that thing in the room. Here's what I've tried with definite success (I haven't measured a db reduction, but my ears were definitely much happier): I had an old Anvil type 19" road case (1/2" plywood) that wasn't being used that has a panel-type front and rear door. I purchased a marathon rack to hold the G4 ( - about $125 on ebay) and started looking for some thin, sound damping material. I ended up using a Coleman camping mat that I bought at Academy for $15. The material is a lot like a rigid, dense sponge. I cut it up and lined the interior of the case. I mounted the computer at the bottom of the rack, leaving some air space at the bottom. When mounting the computer, I used rubber bushings between the rack screws and the computer rack and also between the computer rack and the rack rails. This helps a bit to isolate the computer vibration. I also put big rubber caster wheels on the bottom of the case and used bushings when attaching them to help isolate any vibration from the floor. I weatherstripped the seals for the rear and front panels and passed the cords through a hole that was already in the rear panel. I sealed the doors That's as far as I got last weekend, but I tested it out and it worked great for the $150 or so I put into it so far. Now it was time to conquer the potential heat problem.

I used the G4 for about 4+ hours and continually monitored the heat. I found that having the lights on on the Furman power conditioner turned it into an oven, but the computer alone was not so bad at all. This weekend I am going to install a cooling fan with an on/off switch and speed control (Radio Shack $20) on the rear panel, apply some sound damping material to the rear door and make a cord pass. Also, I was thinking of replacing the front panel with Lexan just for looks.

I'm still experimenting with it, but it certainly did make a significant difference in the noise floor in the control room. If anyone has any suggestions or ideas for improvements, please let me know.
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